Water Softener & Drinking Water FAQs

Feel free to click through the FAQs below:

Drinking Water & Filtration

What is Reverse Osmosis (R.O.)?

Reverse osmosis is a sophisticated multi-stage filtration system that is capable of removing up to 97% of all the dissolved minerals from your water.  It is designed to make water that is at least as good as the water you buy in bottles.  Many times, it’s even better.  This reduces waste in landfills by using less bottled water, making reverse osmosis environmentally friendly.

Is Reverse Osmosis water really as good as bottled?

Yes - The system uses multiple processes including Reverse Osmosis to make great tasting, low sodium drinking water. Reverse Osmosis removes about 97% of the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) including salt and sodium from the water. Read the labels on bottled water and you will discover Reverse Osmosis is the same process used by most bottlers ... so in effect ... you really are getting ... "bottled water ... without the bottle".

I have heard alot about Chromium 6 in drinking water in the news. What is Chromium 6 and can Culligan equipment filter out Chromium 6?

Yes, chromium six (or hexavalent chromium) has recently been discovered in limited amounts in some water supplies. Chromium six is suspected of being a carcinogen, and should not be ingested at amounts above the federally mandated limits.  We have never been alarmists, but if you are concerned about the quality of the water you drink, you might water to consider a reverse osmosis system.  Reverse Osmosis is the only readily available system that removes up to 97% of chromium six.

Why do I need to filter my water?

Water from municipalities, community wells, and private wells all are subject to contamination by a wide variety of chemical and organic contaminants (may not be in your water).

General FAQs

Have Culligan products received any endorsements?

The Culligan® HE water softener… the gold standard in water softeners…  has been named as a Consumers Digest “Best Buy” by Consumers Digest magazine.  The HE softener claimed the designation based on capacity, quality of construction, salt usage and warranty. According to Consumers Digest, consumers who want better water for their homes, and an efficient system to provide it, should turn to Culligan’s High Efficiency Water Softener series.


What is Culligan’s 100% Satisfaction Guarantee?

When you purchase a Culligan® product, you are purchasing the finest water treatment product available in the world today. We are so certain of this fact that if you are dissatisfied with your Culligan® product for any reason within 30 days of your purchase, Culligan® will refund the purchase price.

What makes Culligan better than their competitors?

Actually, there are several things that make us better.  Culligan’s only business is water treatment.  We don’t sell washing machines, or lawn mowers.  And since all of our attention is on water, we hold more patents on water treatment equipment and processes than anyone else in the world.

So, you have Culligan International providing the best equipment money can buy, coupled with a locally owned dealer network, whose sole focus is the satisfaction of their customers.  That’s a very powerful combination.

I already have a filter in my refrigerator? Why do I need anything else?

Refrigerator filters are typically just carbon, and while carbon filtered water is better than no treatment at all, it is limited in what it can remove. Only reverse osmosis is capable of removing dissolved minerals and chemicals from your water.

Why do I need to condition my water?

For utility applications (cleaning, washing, etc.) the ideal water has minimal dissolved minerals which can impact plumbing, water appliances (dish washers, water heaters, ice makers, washing machines, etc.) and can effect skin, hair, and clothing when washed in water containing these minerals. Water conditioners (softeners) remove these dissolved minerals which regular filters cannot remove.

What does the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) say about water supplies?

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons, persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from water infections.

What is the difference in water disinfected with chlorine and chloramine?

Historically, chlorine has been the preferred disinfection treatment in most municipal water systems across the country. However, chlorine opened the door for production of potentially unhealthy disinfection chemical byproducts. Many municipalities are now adding ammonia to the chlorine to produce chloramine. Although some of the original chemical byproducts are reduced, a different set of concerns are now presented.

Do I need to treat or remove chlorine and chloramine?

While disinfection of a municipal water supply is recommended, once the water comes from the tap (faucet or dispenser), there is no benefit to drinking or using the water with the disinfectant.  We recommend removing the disfectant at the "point of use" (POU) so that you are using only clean water with no chemicals or chemical byproducts.

Are chlorine and chloramine removed the same way?

No. Chlorine and chloramine can both be removed but different filter technologies are required.


Are well water (ground water) supplies safe to drink?

Generally speaking most ground water taken from wells (private homes or community systems) is bacteriologically safe, but are subject to mineral, chemical, or organic contaminations.  However, even ground water can be infected with bacterial contaminants.  A water analysis can determine the issues to be addressed.

Water Softeners

Will my water taste salty?

No.  A properly functioning water softener will never make your water taste salty.  The small amount of sodium added to the water will never create a salty taste.

How do I know if I have hard water?

Hard water usually manifests itself in several ways.  It leaves white residue behind wherever water evaporates.  When hardness reacts with soaps and detergents, it leaves a sticky soap scum behind, and in hot water heating systems it leaves behind a hard scale.

How does a water softener work?

A water softener works through a process known as “ion exchange,” which means that as it removes calcium and magnesium (elements that make water “hard”), it replaces those ions on a one for one basis, usually with sodium.  This means that the amount of sodium added to the water is directly proportional to how hard your water is.  In most instances the amount being added is so small that it is not a significant contributor to the amount of sodium in your diet.

Do you sell salt-free softeners?

This is a common question because there are several companies advertising “salt-free” water softeners.  At this point in time, there still is no salt-free product that truly makes soft water the way a traditional water softener does. Most of the products being touted as “salt-free” are actually units that are designed to reduce scaling, and they do this with varying levels of effectiveness.  However, they do not truly soften water.  It should be noted that traditional softeners can use potassium chloride salt instead of sodium chloride salt, if that is a major concern to you.  Ultimately, only a water softener will give you truly soft water, and only salt-based softeners are certified by the WQA.

Will a water softener reverse the damage that has already been done to my appliances?

Yes, if your hard water has been building up scale in your appliances, once you install a softener it will begin to remove that built-up scale.  It will take a long time to remove it, but it will remove it.

Will the softener remove all impurities from my water?

Unfortunately, no.  A water softener is designed to remove hardness (calcium and magnesium) from water.  They can sometimes remove a limited amount of iron and manganese if you happen to have these problems as well.  But if you are looking for great water for drinking and cooking, you should probably consider a reverse osmosis system for that purpose.

How much does a water softener cost?

At Culligan, we have many models to choose from, and the price ranges vary.  Like most appliances, as you go up in cost, units gets larger, more efficient, and carry longer warranties.  We have units for every budget, and we also rent equipment, and have budget payments available.  We do everything possible to make certain that everyone who wants Culligan equipment in their home can have it.

Are there chemicals used or put into the water to soften the water?

Other than sodium chloride or potassium chloride salts, there are no other chemicals that a water softener uses.  On the contrary, using a water softener reduces the amount of cleaning supplies and detergents that you need to put down the drain trying to  keep your home and family clean. Using a water softener is very environmentally friendly.

How long after installation will I have soft water?

Once a softener is installed, it will begin to soften your water immediately, However, if you have a tank-type hot water heater, it may take a few days to use up that hard water, until you feel the full effects of soft water.

How often do I need to add salt?

Most good softeners today, recharge based on how many gallons of water you use, and how hard your water is to start with.  However, most of our customers today are adding salt once or twice a year, on average.